• ENERGY SECURITYHydropower’s Future Is Clouded by Droughts, Floods and Climate Change – It’s Also Essential to the U.S. Electric Grid

    By Caitlin Grady

    The United States has over 2,100 operational hydroelectric dams, with locations in nearly every state. They play essential roles in their regional power grids. But most were built in the past century under a different climate than they face today. As global temperatures rise and the climate continues to change, competition for water will increase, and the way hydropower supply is managed within regions and across the power grid in the U.S. will have to evolve.

  • WATER SECURITYDiminishing Snowmelt to Make Colorado, Utah, Wyoming Resemble the Arid Southwest

    New research predicts that changes in mountain snowmelt will shift peak stream flows to much earlier in the year for the vast Colorado River Basin, altering reservoir management and irrigation across the entire region. As a result, upper basin in Colorado, Utah, and Wyoming may more closely resemble the arid Southwest.

  • WATER SECURITYDoes Drought-Prone California Need Another Reservoir?

    By Felicity Barringer

    For a century, California and the West have grappled with the job of storing water. The first half of the 20th century was the heyday of western dams; now many of them are aging; they were designed for the needs and values of another era. Is California “dammed out?” Or could increasing reservoir capacity help the state ride out the new era of aridification?

  • CRITICAL TECHNOLOGIESStrengthen Advanced Manufacturing for Critical and Emerging Technologies

    NIST has awarded a total of $2.08 million to seven organizations in six states to develop manufacturing technology roadmaps to strengthen U.S. innovation and productivity. Each award will fund projects for up to 18 months to address national priorities such as manufacturing of critical infrastructure, communication, and transformative approaches and technologies in construction.

  • CRITICAL MINERALSThe "Rock-to-Metal Ratio" of Critical Minerals

    A new metric to quantify the amount of waste rock generated by mining for minerals essential to 21st century society has been created by the U.S. Geological Survey and Apple.

  • DAMSFEMA Funding Opportunities for Dam Safety

    There are 90,000 dams in the United States, many of them old and poorly maintained. FEMA will commit $33 million for two funding opportunities to enhance dam safety efforts across the United States.

  • ENERGY SECURITYAMLO's Lithium Grab and War on Green Energy Will Hurt North America

    By Shannon K. O'Neil

    Nationalizing Mexico’s lithium reserves and extending state control over electricity and energy will undermine the region’s prosperity and security.

  • CYBERSECURITYHow Destructive Is a DDoS Cyberattack?

    By Esteban Pardo

    Last weekend, Russian hackers attacked several German government websites. These cyberattacks were seemingly harmless, much to the relief of the authorities. But many others are not so lucky.

  • CYBERSECURITYUndetected and Dormant: Managing Australia’s Software Security Threat

    By Sarah Sloan

    At the same time as software has become integral to our prosperity and national security, attacks on software supply chains are on the rise. Software supply chain attacks are popular, can have a big impact and are used to great effect by a range of cyber adversaries.

  • ENERGY SECURITYEmerging Hydrogen Storage Technology to Increase Energy Resilience

    With the rise in renewable energy as well as increasing uncertainty associated with outages due to power surges and extreme weather events, energy storage plays a key role in ensuring reliable power supply to critical infrastructure such as healthcare facilities, data centers, and telecommunications. New study assesses cost competitiveness of metal-organic framework materials to store hydrogen for large-scale backup power applications.

  • WILDFIRESWildfires Are Still Catching Us Off-Guard. Congress’ Plan to Fix That Isn’t Going Anywhere.

    By Chad Small

    Last year, during a Congressional hearing on the state of wildfire research, researchers and fire managers said that coordination among federal agencies to improve wildfire research would be tremendously helpful to prepare for future fires. But the proposal to connect federal research agencies and improve wildfire research crashed and burned.

  • NUCLEAR WASTEThe Future of Nuclear Waste: What’s the Plan and Can It Be Safe?

    By Lewis Blackburn

    The UK is planning to significantly expand its nuclear capability — from approximately 8 gigawatts (GW) today to 24GW by 2050, which would meet around 25% of the forecast UK energy demand — in an effort to decrease its reliance on carbon-based fossil fuels. New reactors will inevitably mean more radioactive waste. Above-ground nuclear waste storage isn’t a feasible long term plan. What are the alternatives?

  • INFRASTRUCTURE PROTECTIONBoosting Efforts to Predict Harmful Solar Weather Events

    When big blasts of energy from the sun envelop the Earth, they can very strong: a 2015 event so weakened Earth’s protective magnetic field that it penetrated to the atmosphere, posing a threat to everything from circling space station astronauts to delicate electronics and communication systems.

  • WILDFIRESGuidance for Holistic Home and Community Wildfire Protection

    Once they have a foothold, severe wildfires can quickly overwhelm a community, particularly one that is densely packed. To shield houses against such a fierce threat, a thorough defense is key.

  • WILDFIRESHow Our Bushfire-Proof House Design Could Help People Flee Rather Than Risk Fighting the Flames

    By Deborah Ascher Barnstone

    Building houses better at withstanding the impacts of climate change is one way we can protect ourselves in the face of future catastrophic conditions. I’m part of a research team that developed a novel, bushfire-resistant house design, which won an international award last month.